Florida’s Sex Offender Registry
Conviction of certain sexual offenses means that a person must register as a sex offender or sexual predator in Florida. The state’s sex offender registry was created to protect children and the public from becoming the victims of sexual offenses. Having to register as a sex offender can be extremely burdensome, however. If you have been charged with a sexual offense in Florida, an attorney may be able to help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed, and thus avoid the registration requirement.Who Must Register
A person will be listed on Florida’s sexual offender registry if he or she has been convicted of a wide variety of sexual offenses , including, among others:
- Sexual battery;
- Child pornography;
- Kidnapping or false imprisonment, where the victim was a minor and not the perpetrator’s own child;
- Human trafficking;
- Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon the elderly or disabled; and
- Various sexual offenses involving minors.
Additionally, a person will be listed on the sex offender registry if he or she has been convicted of a similar offense in a different jurisdiction.
The court may classify a person as a sexual predator if he or she has committed a sexually violent offense or is a repeat sex offender.Registration
Sexual offenders are required to register in person at the local sheriff’s office every six months. Sexual predators and sex offenders who have committed certain serious offenses are required to register quarterly. If a sexual offender or sexual predator changes his or her permanent or temporary residence, he or she must report to local law enforcement within 48 hours.
Registering with Florida’s sexual offender registry means that an offender’s personal information and photograph will be listed online. Sex offenders may not live within 2,500 feet of a school, park, or other place where children gather. Listing on the registry can be an impediment to finding employment and can also lead to harassment.
Local law enforcement is required to notify the community about the presence of a sexual predator residing there. Community notification is optional for sexual offenders.Removal
A registered sex offender or sexual predator’s name will be removed from Florida’s registry if he or she has received a full pardon or had the conviction set aside in a post-conviction hearing.
An offender can petition for a hearing for removal from the sex offender registry if he or she has been lawfully released from imprisonment or parole for at least 25 years and has not been arrested for any misdemeanor or felony since the time of release. Sexual predators may not petition for removal.
Additionally, Florida’s Romeo and Juliet law allows those convicted of crimes because of consensual sexual acts to petition to have their names removed from the registry. This law applies only to those who were convicted of certain sexual offenses where the victim was between 13 and 17 years old, the offender was no more than four years older, and removal does not conflict with federal law.
If you have been charged with a sexual offense, please contact West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney William Wallshein for a confidential consultation.